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We’ve all been there, seeing a doctor and being told we should do something, either for ourselves, or for our kids. But something in that recommendation just didn’t settle right. But then the doctor takes offense that you dare question their recommendation.
So, what are we supposed to do when it comes to dealing with these doctors? Some people say to find a new doctor. Others say to just do what the doctor says because they have the education we don’t.
I don’t think either of those recommendations are the correct approach 100% of the time. Rather, it depends on the specific situation, but also an understanding of how the system works.
Let’s peel back the details on how the medical industry works, and why we should intelligently question more.
It’s Sick Care…Not Health Care
Before we begin, it’s important to understand the medical industry in the United States is not actually health care, but sick care. Think about that for a minute. Most of us who are generally healthy don’t go to see doctors frequently. Rather, we might go for our once a year check up, but then move on with our lives.
The entire premise of Western Medicine is based on the faulty Germ Theory. Actually, this theory works well when dealing with something like an acute virus or other contagious disease. Basically, this theory is what has led to the individual specializations we have now. I’m sure you’ve experienced it, where what one doctor tells you contradicts what another doctor tells you. This is because the medical profession has lost sight of the fact the body is a series of dependent system, not isolated ones. That means that when dealing with chronic illness, the theory starts breaking down very quickly. If you want to learn more about this particular topic, check out the book “The Disease Delusion” by Dr. Jeffery Bland.
When you look at what doctors actually learn in school, it’s not how to keep a body healthy. Rather, it’s how to diagnose a body when it’s not healthy, and then how to prescribe or cut. Boil all of that education down, and that’s what doctors are learning to provide functionally. Yes, there’s a lot of science in there, but functionally this is what they are equipped to do.
You can confirm this by thinking through the conversations you’ve had with your providers. When it comes to things you can do outside of prescriptions or surgeries, what is it that they recommend? It comes down to a very basic list, and every doctor uses the same list:
- Get sleep
- Try to keep your stress down
- Drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water
- Get some exercise
- Avoid processed foods
- Stay away from massive amounts of sugar
That’s it, that’s what all of those years of school provides outside of prescriptions and surgeries. Let’s explore why this is.
Follow The Money
One of the things every patient needs to realize is that the medical industry is a business, like any other. That means that they are in the business to make money. Yes, even the not-for-profit hospitals, they are still in the business to make money, they just can’t take a profit from it.
Where do you think the industry gets the money to pay a family practice physician $168,000 annually (which is the average in Michigan, where I live, as of 2021)? Remember, there are countless expenses in running a doctor’s office, including about $50k just in malpractice insurance.
When you go to the doctor, they bill every little thing they do. So if they see you for a sprained ankle, that’s one billing code. However, if they write you a prescription for an anti-inflammatory medication and an x-ray, that’s a different billing code. These codes aren’t what goes into your chart, but what is being billed to your insurance company.
I recently had a doctor recommend to me a prescription based on the results of a stress test. However, that recommendation did not come from the doctor directly, but one of his nurses, who couldn’t really explain why the medication was being recommended, or how it was supposed to help with the results. When I met with the doctor and questioned why he had recommended the prescription, he did not defend or explain it at all, but rather said that he didn’t feel that strongly about it. Hmmm…why would you recommend I ingest a chemical that will have side effects if you didn’t really feel like I needed it?
Why Doctors Don’t Like “Natural” Remedies
Part of the problem with the medical industry is not just the way the services are billed, but with the system as a whole. Rather, in 1910, Rockefeller and Carnegie teamed up to change the face of medicine in the United States. Between their collaboration and a push with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, they changed the curriculum to focus primarily on prescriptive medicine. Don’t take my word for it, either, check out the book “Rockefeller Medicine Man: Medicine and Capitalism in the United States” by E Richard Brown.
Fast-forward to today, and why doctors don’t seem to like natural remedies. First, they have to be concerned about their medical licenses. Back when Carnegie and Rockefeller were recreating the medical industry, some doctors who offered homeopathic options were jailed for doing so. This stigma has continued being propagated through medical schools and institutions at almost a cultish fervor.
Further, you have the government oversight from the FDA, which specifically dictates that something cannot be claimed to heal any kind of condition without their express blessing. So, that means we cannot say that air treats suffocation unless they say so (I say that tongue-in-cheek, but you get the idea). The things that go before the FDA for approval have large sums of money tied to it, e.g. prescriptions because it costs a lot to get the FDA to evaluate something. That means that anything natural or commonly available won’t get their consideration because there just isn’t enough money to be made by one organization for taking it to the FDA.
Now, the FDA does provide a beneficial service, at least in concept. The original intent was to prevent marketers and salespeople from making unfounded claims, and harming people. However, what it’s turned into is a system that favors only those things that large pharmaceutical companies can use to generate massive profits.
Even if a doctor has studied some natural things on their own, they have to play dumb to keep their jobs. But it also just makes good business sense to not recommend natural options. Why? Because that keeps people healthier, and out of their office. I’m not saying this is the motivation behind every doctor, but it cannot be ignored either.
Working With Your Medical Providers
So, do we avoid the medical industry altogether? I don’t think so, there’s a balance to be struck. When we accept what a doctor tells us simply because they’re a doctor, we’re falling prey to the logical fallacy known as the Appeal to Authority. In other words, the fallacy is that you should accept what someone says simply because that person seems to have some authority.
However, we shouldn’t just dismiss it, either. There’s a time and a place for Western Medicine, it’s part of why my oldest is still alive today. But we cannot disengage our brains and take what anyone says as fact or reality just because that person seems to have some authority.
Rather, we need to question what we’re being told, see if it makes sense to us. If it doesn’t, we need to pursue trying to understand until it does, or trust our gut when it says something is wrong.
Remember, God gave you the children you’re raising, and He gave you a brain to use. If you’re working with a provider who’s trying to browbeat you into doing what they think, it’s time to find a new provider.
Part of the job of a doctor is actually sales, it’s their job to convince you that the course of treatment they recommend is right. You wouldn’t buy a car simply because the salesman tried to browbeat you into a certain model, especially if it just wasn’t comfortable. Why do we allow doctors, or anyone else for that matter, to use that tactic to push our healthcare decision-making process?
What do you think? Should we just follow doctors blindly without thinking for ourselves, or do we have the responsibility to question things before proceeding with recommendations?